Kansas City, Missouri — As the popular craft chain Hobby Lobby continues to argue its case in the courts, a Missouri-based plumbing company was recently granted an injunction against Obamcare’s abortion pill mandate, marking another win for religious businesses in the nation.
According to the Christian legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), twelve businesses have been granted injunctions thus far, and only four have been denied. Among those that have obtained injunctions include the Bible publisher Tyndale House, Dominos Farms Corporation — owned by the founder of Domino’s Pizza — and Hercules Industries of Colorado. Those that have been denied include Hobby Lobby, Conestoga Wood Specialties Corporation of Pennsylvania and Annex Medical in Minnesota.
“The Obama administration should understand that it cannot force Americans to abandon their beliefs at the door of the workplace,” said ADF senior counsel Kevin Theriot in a release entitled March Madness Begins: Religious Freedom Outscoring Obamacare 12-4 in Court. “The Constitution simply doesn’t allow the government to involve itself in religion by deciding what faith is, who the faithful are, and when and where their faith may be lived out. Confining our faith to our homes and our churches is not the job of Washington bureaucrats.”
The latest injunction granted is for a Catholic company near Kansas City that manufactures plumbing products. Souix Chief Manufacturing Company had files suit last month, seeking a reprieve from the Obamacare mandate, which requires that contraceptives and sterilization procedures be covered by employers. The suit was filed in federal court in the Western District of Missouri.
On Thursday, the court granted a temporary injunction against Obamacare and also put the case on hold while a similar lawsuit plays out in the 8th Circuit.
“Americans should be free to honor God and live according to their consciences whether they are at home, church, or work,” said lead counsel Jonathan R. Whitehead, who represented the company on behalf of ADF. “The court was right to stop enforcement of this unconstitutional mandate against Sioux Chief and its owners. They, like all other family-run businesses, have the God-given freedom to live and lead their company according to the values of their faith. American entrepreneurs cannot be forced to surrender their First Amendment freedoms when they go to work.”
While the Obama administration did not have an objection the injunction, in other cases involving religious-owned businesses, it has contended that public secular businesses cannot be considered religious institutions, and therefore, cannot be exempted from the mandate.
However, as previously reported, some members of Congress assert that Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate violates the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
“Congress has commanded equal treatment of all under a religion-protective rule,” states an amicus brief filed with the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in support of Hobby Lobby. “Defendants may not pick and choose whose exercise of religion is protected and whose is not.”
Senators involved with the legal effort include Dan Coates of Indiana, Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Mike Crapo of Idaho, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, Pat Roberts of Kansas, Richard Shelby of Alabama, and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. Representatives Lamar Smith of Texas and Frank Wolf of Virginia also added their name to the legal brief.
The courts remain divided over the matter, but with far more of those on the bench siding with businesses than against. The majority of the cases have been handled by Republican-appointed judges, and all four denials have been issued by Bush and Reagan appointees.
Photo: Bryan Calabro
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